What used to be the only way to trade was from tradition to a tourist attraction. The floating markets are a highlight of Thailand!
We all know them, images on which Thai ladies with their fruit-laden barges maneuver through narrow and crowded waterways to promote their wares. Do the floating markets still exist? Hell yes! But what once was a tradition in a tourist attraction now. The photos look so intriguing that we want to see this with our own eyes. I’ll be happy to tell you where this is possible.
Floating Markets as a Necessity!
There is a long history of the floating markets, which you might mainly relate to Bangkok. Before the city had a modern street plan, transport took place over the water. Barges served as a means of transportation and were led through the canals of Bangkok, the khlongs. Even the sale of goods took place on the water. As a result, masses of fruit and vegetables, meat and fish were taken on small boats. For the Thai population, floating markets are therefore nothing special, on the contrary, the Thonburi district was known for its floating markets. In the course of time, Bangkok developed; further, streets were built, and waterways filled up. As a result, many floating markets ceased to exist. However, not all Khlongs were muted, and you can still sail through Thonburi. You can book several Khlong tours and let yourself go through the labyrinth of canals. An absolute highlight!
Damnoen Saduak breathes New Life into the Tradition!
Even though the need for the floating market has disappeared, you can still visit a floating market in Thailand. Not in Bangkok itself, but 80 kilometers away, in the city of Damnoen Saduak. Not tradition, but tourism is the main motive here. You will probably only meet the locals in the early morning hours between six and eight, looking for pomelos, djambi, java apple, and other foods.
Early in the morning, tourists come to the floating market of Damnoen Saduak and block the passageways of the canal in their boats. A traffic jam on the water, not something you see every day! But then the merchants go to work: from the super fresh meals, spring rolls, and pancakes your mouth starts to water. For the vendors, the spectators’ carnival means a golden trade. Even accessories and souvenirs can be purchased on the floating market.
If you prefer to view the floating market from a distance, take a seat at one of the surrounding cafes. Put the alarm clock early to explore the market in peace around sunrise. Later you can view all the activity from a distance, and marvel at all who do not yet know the saying “the early bird catches the worm.”